How much do those holiday foods cost in exercise?
•Three vegetable dumplings with sesame-soy sauce equal 51 minutes of standing in line to see Santa with three rambunctious kids (mild calisthenics).
Each dumpling is 60 calories or more, including the soy sauce.
Fit tip: Make sure the dumplings are steamed, not fried.
•Two beef franks in blankets equal 19.2 minutes of shoveling the driveway after a snowstorm.
When you see the snow falling, it seems so romantic; then reality sets in, and you realize that you have to grab your shovel and clear your driveway. Each frank is 67.5 calories for the frozen kind.
Fit tip: You can make these yourself with low-fat turkey hot dogs and Pillsbury Reduced Fat Crescents and bring them to the party.
•Three shrimp with cocktail sauce equal 21 minutes of splitting logs for a nice fire on Christmas Eve.
Although shrimp are high in cholesterol, they're very low in unhealthy saturated fat, so they can still fit into a heart-healthy diet. Three medium shrimp plus one-fourth cup of cocktail sauce are about 150 calories.
Fit tip: Eat more of the shrimp than the fried foods typically offered.
•One mini three-cheese quiche equals 27 minutes of shopping.
Holiday shopping should be a fun experience — not just buying gifts for friends and family, but knowing that you're burning calories, too. Each quiche will cost you 72.5 calories.
Fit tip: Don't use too much cheese. Use lots of veggies, and egg whites instead of eggs.
•Six mini crab cakes (Mrs. Paul's) equal 59 minutes performing “The Nutcracker” ballet.
Can you do a pirouette or plie? I didn't think so. Six mini crab cakes have about 250 calories.
Fit tip: Here is a healthier crab cake recipe makeover by the editors at Cooking Light: www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/recipe-makeovers/healthy-crab-cakes-recipes-00412000067330/.
•Three meatball appetizers (about 1 ounce) equal 40 minutes of decking your house for the holidays (inside and out).
Decorating the outside of your home with lights and other holiday decorations takes a lot of work.
Fit tip: Try using lean meats or making ground white-meat turkey meatballs.
•A grande Starbucks peppermint mocha equals 64 minutes of ice skating in a winter wonderland.
Just one 16-ounce mocha with 2 percent milk and whipped cream is 410 calories.
Fit tip: Maybe just have a cup of coffee? If you skip the whipped cream and use nonfat milk, it's 290 calories.
•One slice of genoa salami on a cracker with cheese equals wrapping presents for 55 minutes.
See those little white circles, the ones that take up a good 25 to 50 percent of the slice? Those are little flecks of calorie-laden lard.
Fit tip: If you have a salami weakness, at least make sure you're skipping its best friends — the crackers and cheddar cheese. One cracker adds 16 calories, and a half ounce of cheddar tacks on another 55. So, if you really want the salami, enjoy it by itself.
•Two Christmas cookies equal 36 minutes of caroling.
Holiday cookies vary in size and shape, but with the butter or shortening, the sugar, frosting and sprinkles, expect the calories for a typical sugar cookie to be in the range of 50 to 120. And a gingerbread cookie, also made with butter or shortening plus molasses, can be up to 190 calories.
Fit tip: Don't keep cookies sitting out in a dish or bowl, especially while you're talking on the phone or sitting in front of the television. It's best to give them away to friends and family — fast.
•Four bite-size mini pizzas (3 ounces) equal 36 minutes dancing at the holiday party.
Those little pizzas with lots of cheese (and sometimes pepperoni) disappear so fast it seems they weren't really there at all, but your waistline knows the truth. If you'd rather not cut down on your mini pizza snacks, start dancing.
Fit tip: Make them yourself and bring them. Toast pita bread with a thin sprinkling of grated Parmesan or part-skim mozzarella and some low-calorie tomato sauce. Then throw on veggies and enjoy.
•One cup of eggnog (8 ounces) equals decorating the tree for 171 minutes.
Eggnog is a diet catastrophe. It packs about 460 calories, depending on the ingredients and proportions, and typically has raw egg, heavy cream and a shot or two of brandy. You're looking at 171 minutes of continuous tree decorating — up and down the ladder, finding the trimmings and reaching to the top to decorate.
Fit tip: Use skim milk in your eggnog — at least you'll deduct the heavy cream from this diet disaster equation.
•Four mini candy canes (0.15 ounces each) equal writing holiday greeting cards for 57 minutes.
Each mini candy cane has almost 17 calories. Keep in mind, if you send an email blast, that's not the same as writing cards for almost an hour.
Fit tip: Don't eat mindlessly while you send those holiday greetings. That will cancel out all your good work.
•One mini spring roll with dipping sauce equals 19.5 minutes dancing as a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall.
At 160 calories (540 mg of sodium) each, these might not seem like a bad deal — after all, a Rockette burns those calories in just eight minutes on stage, even when the music is canned. But before you dig into the appetizer plate, consider two things: First, try kicking your leg up to your nose. Then, if you're still standing up, do it again.
Fit tip: Ask if they're fried (which they probably are), and, if so, avoid them.